My education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Brown University (1989) and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University (2003).
In the last 20 years, my professional journey has led me to equal amounts of time in leadership roles in the for-profit, not-for profit and public sectors. I have developed my capacities as a learning activist and my expertise as a policy and organizational advisor.
My passion as Learning Activist for Whole Life Learning and Post-traditional Learners derives from the fact that my parents are immigrants, with 7th and 6th grade education, respectively. I learned early that the nation’s system of educational institutions was not well designed to serve them. I am determined to do my part to address this inequity.
In the early 1990s, I was part of the founding team of a medical equipment start-up that we grew through partnerships with ambulatory patient care facilities, excellent distribution operations and personal patient care. The firm was eventually sold to CVS. This experience developed my expertise in building a team, managing cashflow and growing a business.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, I managed adult education programs for the International Institute Rhode Island and created bridge programs to community college for immigrants. Later, as Director of Education Partnerships for the TechCollective, a technology industry association, I created worker training partnerships in IT and Biotech which received $5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor under the H1B Visa Grant Program. I built partnerships with education and public policy stakeholders to move the organization’s mission and goals. I also helped develop board governance criteria and actively recruited new board members. In these roles, I became expert at creating, developing and sustaining not-for-profit organizations.
In the early to mid-2000s, I worked in the administration of Governor Donald L. Carcieri, as Director of Business Services, at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. During my tenure, RIEDC designed a new branding strategy for business attraction and a sector-focused approach to growing resident firms which attracted both Bank of America and Amgen as new corporate citizens. In this role, I honed my ability to work between the public policy and business communities to create win-win opportunities.
From 2006 to 2012, I founded and grew the higher education policy program at the Center for American Progress. I recruited a team of policy analysts that quickly made CAP the go to resource on Capitol Hill for policy innovations in consumer information and technological innovation in higher education. In this role, I developed my expertise at creating impactful policies and building the relationships to advance them in the legislative and regulatory process.
Taken together, this set of cross-sector leadership experiences has cultivated a unique set of advisory skills for leaders of organizations seeking to grow and change their work with regard to the education of post-traditional learners.